“Trick or Treat?”
That’s the question of the month. The question asked in anticipation as people dress up as vampires, witches, goblins and ghosts.
It’s the beginning of October but it won’t be long until Halloween and I thought it would be great if we could turn ‘trick or treating’ into a classroom activity.
I was thinking about the kind of activities that bring an element of random chance as well as subject knowledge. The activities that encourage learners of all levels and can keep them engaged with the help of a little bit of theatricality.
Activities such as Typhoon and BAAM provided the inspiration for this game. In both of these activities, there is a chance for the students to lose their points at random. This seemed to work nicely with the idea of ‘trick or treat?’ – Students could gain points and lose them. It could make a really fun Halloween game.
I had the idea, I now needed to design the game.
A brief overview of the game
An introduction to the game and the different icons.
Download the game
Different versions of the game can be downloaded to suits your needs.
How to play
A suggestion about how to play the game in class.
Changing the position of the icons
A tutorial showing how to change the position of the icons. This is useful if you want to reuse the game without the students knowing where the icons are.
Trick or Treat – The Card Game
A set of cards with the Trick or Treat icons that can be used to play a low-tech version of the game or allow the students to play their own games in small groups.
Trick or Treat? – A Brief Overview
‘Trick or Treat?’ is a game where students win points but also have the chance of losing points. As it is a Halloween themed game, Instead of selecting a square like you would in BAAM, the students select a Pumpkin.
The pumpkin disappears when you click on it to reveal an icon underneath. It may be a ‘treat’ icon and your students can be rewarded with points and/or candy if they answer a question correctly.
It may be a single ghost. There are four single ghosts hidden on the board. If a team chooses a pumpkin with a ghost they lose half their points.
However, they lose all their points if they choose a pumpkin that is hiding three ghosts. There are two of these icons hidden on the board.
Here is a demo video of the basic version of the game so you can see how it is played.
The video is 45 seconds long.
Download the game
Click on Trick or Treat (Basic Version) to download the template.
This version of the game is the most versatile because the board only shows the icons. There are no questions to answer in the PowerPoint. Simply write down some of your own question ideas, page references or tasks for the students on a separate piece of paper and number them. Give the students the appropriate instruction, task or question when they choose a pumpkin.
Click on Trick or Treat (Questions) if you want a version of the game that includes question slides.
In order to keep the game as versatile as possible, I have included only a single text box that can contain a question, prompt or a task.
Watch this demo video if you want to preview the template before you download it.
This video is 56 seconds long.
Or click on Trick or Treat & Question Templates if you want a copy of the game with different types of questions that you can customize into your own personalized version.
This version of the game comes with multiple choice questions, picture reveal questions, a question box for challenges and tasks, as well as a word connections question slide.
Copy the types of questions you want and link the pumpkins on the menu slide to each of the questions. Watch this demo video to see how this is done.
This video is 2:04 minutes long.
The Board Game version of ‘Trick or Treat?’ is available here.
How to play
- Divide the class into groups/teams and ask them to think of a team name. Teams of 4 to 5 students seem to work well.
- Introduce the students to the different icons and what they mean. ‘Treats’ mean the students earn points for their team. A single ghost means that they lose half their points. Three ghosts mean that they lose all their points.
- Select a team at random to choose the first number. If their first choice is a ghost, don’t worry, they are very lucky! They lose no points because everyone is on 0 and they can choose again. This time is a little safer because one of the ghosts have been revealed.
- If they choose a question, any team can answer. The first team to offer to correct answer earns points for their team.
- The team who answered the last question chooses the next question number, but any team can answer the question.
- Repeat until all questions have been answered or all pumpkins have been chosen.
Tip: Ask the students if they are sure about their choice. Do they want to choose a different number? Bluff that their choice may be a ghost. A little theatricality goes a long way. It will help with keeping the students engaged but it also provides extra language opportunities for the students to say how certain they feel.
Position of the icons
Once you have played this game once, the students will know where the ghosts are hidden and where they can find the treat icons, but changing the position of the icons isn’t too difficult.
Learning how to do this means you can re-use the game and keep your students guessing about where the icons are.
Watch this video for a tutorial on how to move the icons. Work with the selection pane and learn how to assign actions to objects.
This video is 3:18 minutes long.
A low-tech version
Playing the card version of the game is another way to easily change the position of the icons.
Click on Trick or Treat Cards to download the cards.
Once you have downloaded the cards, open the word documents and print the cards onto thick paper or card.
Cut up the cards and shuffle them.
You can play on a desk by turning the cards over so the icons aren’t visible. Shuffle and scramble the cards and sort them so that the students don’t know where each icon is.
You can also play on a whiteboard or blackboard by using magnets to stick the icons to the board.
The benefit of this version is that you can encourage the students to work in groups and write 14 questions for another group. The questions can be rotated around the classroom and you can have several groups of students playing the same game at the same time.
Recycling the game is only a matter of changing questions and shuffling the cards.
Happy Halloween and I hope your students will find ‘Trick or Treat?’ a fun game.
If you have any questions about the game, please leave a comment. Alternatively you can send me a message on my Facebook page or on Twitter.
Thanks for reading and take care!
David Deubelbeiss from EFL Classroom 2.0 kindly gave permission for me adapt the BAAM game. Please visit this page for more details about the BAAM game and visit David’s blog for more information about EFL Classroom 2.0.
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The second post of the trick or treat series has a downloadable board game that can be use instead of the PowerPoint version. Download the PDF and print as many copies as you need!